Wild Alaskan Halibut Packets with Walnut, Caper, and Parsley Vinaigrette

Wild Alaskan Halibut Packets with Walnut, Caper, and Parsley Vinaigrette

Wild Alaskan Halibut Packets with Walnut, Caper, and Parsley Vinaigrette


Recipe by Sarah Copeland @edibleliving

Cooking fish in a packet—or, as the French say, en papillote—is an old yet entirely modern (read: smart!) method that still works brilliantly. It’s easy, clean, and results in nearly flawlessly cooked fish every time. 

When wild halibut, a large, meaty fish that we source from Alaska, is cooked in a pan, it often gets dry on the outside before the interior is done. Roasting is fine, but it requires a careful watch. Inside a parchment packet, however, you can impart flavor and maintain moisture because the fish is steamed—in this case with bay and lemon, before being doused in a tangy, crunchy caper and walnut vinaigrette. The result: buttery fish that’s perfectly cooked through. If heat is your go-to, feel free to serve with chile oil drizzled on top.


4 (6- to 8-ounce) wild Alaskan halibut fillets
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 lemon, sliced, plus 1 lemon, juiced
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh (though dry is fine)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 cup firmly packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
½ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
⅓ cup capers, drained
Chile oil, for serving (optional)


1.    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper into large squares. Fold each piece in half and use scissors to cut into a heart shape. Unfold the parchment and set a halibut fillet in the center of one half of each heart. Drizzle each fillet liberally with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper, then top each fillet with a few lemon slices and a bay leaf. Fold the remaining side of the parchment over the fillet and roll or tuck in the edges to create a tight seal.

2.    Place the packets on a sheet pan and bake until the halibut is just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

3.    Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, vinegar, parsley, walnuts, and capers. 

4.    Unwrap and discard the parchment. Place each fillet on a plate, drizzle some vinaigrette over the top, and serve warm, drizzled with chile oil, if desired.